Thursday, October 23, 2008

Day 3 - Rio

We woke up and there was finally sunshine! That meant we could finally go hang gliding. If you have one thing to do in Rio I recommend hang gliding with Paolo from Just Fly. (http://www.justfly.com.br/) Paolo also can coordinate some other tours for you and runs a hostel and rents an apartment. It's terrifying standing at the top of the mountain and looking down. But once you start running there's no time to think about it and you just go. I probably got about 20 minutes of flying time. The Husband got less since he weighs more. Like I said I can't recommend it enough. We flew out over the ocean for a while and went back in forth over some houses. It was a beautiful clear day and we could see the whole city. They guide takes pictures while you're flying which we bought for the staggering amount of $60 for both of us.

Then it was on to the beach. Our hotel provides beach chairs, umbrellas, and towels right on the beach which was wonderful. Vendors walk up and down selling anything you could ever need. Snacks, bikinis, sunscreen which is mostly for the very pale-skinned tourists. It was high 70s and breezy. Perfect weather for laying out although the water was frostbite-inducing.

We had lunch at an upscale deli. I had some communication issues and ended up with the strongest drink ever that was tangerine flavored instead of strawberry and sparkling water instead of still. But my sandwich of brie and parma ham was fantastic. I love the brazilians heavy use of brie in their food. It's one of my favorite cheeses. Plus parma ham is just delicious.

Then we took off for Corcovado. It's amazing how they built a giant Jesus right on top of the mountain. Who even thinks to do that? We also referred to it as giant Jesus the whole trip. I'm sure everyone who heard our conversations loved us. It was a fun train ride up. (Do the train instead of the tours that random tour operators are offering down below. And you will be badgered by them.) Great views although of course crowded with tourists. Fortunately when I saw crowded with tourists I don't mean crazy lines like in Disney World or the Statue of Liberty. We enjoyed a drink near the giant Jesus then headed back down the mountain.

Then it was back to our hotel for a much needed nap since we were going out on the town that night. We started with Bar d'Hotel for dinner. Frommers says famous people like soccer players hang out there but we didn't see any. Not that we'd know what they looked like. The meal was delicious. I had bellinis to drink and The Husband had caiprihinas. He's going to be very disappointed when we get home and they don't make them nearly as well. Then we shared a bruschetta appetizer with four different types of bruschetta. Then we both had a different pasta dish which obviously wasn't as memorable as the bruschetta and drinks!

Then we headed into Lapa to go hear some samba at Rio Scenarium. Between having to go through a police checkpoint and driving around the scariest, most deserted streets, it was a little iffy for a while. We pulled up after going through a neighborhood that's seen better times and the place was beautiful. The club was also a lot of fun. We didn't dance of course (haha me convince The Husband to dance?) but drinks were only 4 dollars and I bought a samba CD. Seriously 4 dollar drinks made me incredibly happy. That's just unheard of anywhere in Chicago. The band was really good although the one guy looked like a fat frat guy and was cracking me up. He just looked so out of place in a samba band. It was a very fun night although cab rates double after a certain time. Ouch. Watch out for that if you're in Rio.

View of the mountain we'd be hang gliding off of

Our Land Rover carrying the hand glider

The platform we had to run off of

The Husband getting ready to go

The Husband in the air

The Husband again

Me hang gliding

Me again

The beach from our hotel balcony

The husband's lunch: beef with egg on top, fried bananas, farofa (which tastes like sawdust) and rice

My brie and Parma sandwich

Corcovado aka Giant Jesus

View from Corcovado

The Husband

View of Rio from Corcovado

Me

Giant Jesus from the back

Giant Jesus from below

Giant Jesus from the front

Me with Rio in the background

The Husband

Me having the highest caiprivodka in Rio

On top of the mountain

At the samba club in Lapa


1 comment:

WeezerMonkey said...

It just doesn't get any better than hang-gliding and The Giant Jesus!